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Counting Down to Net Zero Emissions

In 2009, Monash partnered with The Myer Foundation to create an organisation whose research could help the country substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Today, ClimateWorks Australia is backed by Monash Sustainable Development Institute, and is turning its award-winning work into practical, low carbon solutions, with lasting results.

We’re already making progress

Since Australia needs to move towards a net zero carbon future by 2050, ClimateWorks has held a steady focus on three key areas. By identifying new opportunities through research and engagement, breaking down the barriers that prevent real action, and keeping track of the progress we’re making as a country, ClimateWorks is contributing to a better future. A lot of this progress comes from establishing a high level of credibility with businesses and governments. By making sure our research is both embraced and understood, ClimateWorks can lead the charge to a lower carbon economy in the fastest, most effective way possible.

In 2014, ClimateWorks teamed up with the Australian National University to put together the Australian analysis for the international project Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in 2050. This global initiative looked at how 15 countries – who together made up over 70% of global emissions – could make the transition to low carbon economies. The result was the Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in 2050 report, which outlined how Australia can prosper in a low carbon world. It highlighted how decarbonisation of an economy could be achieved alongside economic growth – and has been embraced by government, business and community groups alike.

The report influenced the Australian Government’s National Energy Productivity Plan, the Australian Labor Party’s net zero emissions by 2050 policy, and the decarbonisation planning of many companies. The initiative also established ClimateWorks as a key adviser to governments on decarbonisation.

After ClimateWorks CEO Anna Skarbek was appointed to the Victorian Government’s Climate Change Act Review Committee, and the South Australian Government’s Low Carbon Economy Expert Panel, both governments officially announced a net zero emissions by 2050 target. A number of business and government bodies have also contracted ClimateWorks to spot risks and opportunities in the Paris Agreement climate goals, while helping them to set science-based targets.

By partnering with companies embracing a net zero emissions target for the first time, we can help establish new best practice benchmarks – so that other businesses can follow in their footsteps.

In the next few years, ClimateWorks will be building on the momentum we’ve already established. Helping Australians do more than acknowledge that a net zero emissions target is a must – by showing them that it’s achievable too.